Four series wins in a row. And this one wasn’t against the Atlanta Braves or Last Place LaRussas. The San Francisco Giants are at the top of the NL West in an even-numbered year. This win was against Madison Bumgarner.
The Reds are 9-3 since the arbitrary starting-point of the All-Star break. They have tomorrow off and then play a 3-game series in San Diego. As soon as information is available on postseason tickets, we’ll pass it along.
Steely Dan The Reds got 7.2 great innings from Dan Straily. He threw 90 pitches, giving up three hits and one walk. He struck out five Giants. The first inning offered a hint that this might be a good day for Straily when he struck out the side on 11 pitches. The Reds haven’t had a complete game win yet this year. It looked for a while like Straily might have had a shot. Bryan Price lifted him in the 8th with two outs after Madison Bumgarner singled to right.
The Last Waltz If this is Jay Bruce‘s last week playing for the Reds, he’s going out in style. Bruce has hit six home runs in the last five games, including four over the imposing walls at AT&T Park. His 25th home run in the 7th inning ended up being the game-winning hit. Bruce is now hitting .271/.323 with isolated power of .301 and wRC+ of 130. That’s the fourth highest power number in the major leagues. He’s having the best offensive year of his career.
Keep on Keepin’ On Joey Votto had two hits today, raising his average to .281 and on-base percentage to .415. That’s fifth in the majors. It was his eleventh game in a row getting on base at least twice.
Game Saving Play? With a runner at first, Zack Cozart made a “dazzling” (M. Brennaman) defensive play on a hard ground ball to his left. Diving full out and laying on the ground, he shoveled the ball to Brandon Phillips for a force at second.
Relief Roles Raisel Iglesias got the final out in the 8th, retiring Gregor Blanco on one pitch. Instead of leaving Iglesias in to pitch the ninth, Bryan Price went with his closer because that’s what managers do. Tony Cingrani gave up a leadoff single to Angel Pagan, but then he retired the heart of the Giants lineup in order, securing the game.
Almost, But Not Quite The excitement almost made me forget to mention that Jose Peraza didn’t play an inning or receive a plate appearance in this series.
Fun Fact Madison Bumgarner once dated a woman named Madison Bumgarner (no relation, he checked).
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.